2742: Island Storage

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Island Storage
I always hate dragging around the larger archipelagos, but I appreciate how the Scandanavian peninsula flexes outward to create a snug pocket for Britain and Ireland.
Title text: I always hate dragging around the larger archipelagos, but I appreciate how the Scandanavian peninsula flexes outward to create a snug pocket for Britain and Ireland.


This is another world map vandalized[citation needed] by Randall, similarly to the bad map projection series. This time, every major island that is not considered a continent in its own right is relocated into similarly-sized swathes of sea partly enclosed by the outlines of adjacent continents. The caption implies it's Earth's intended "storage mode", where everything 'loose' is neatly packed away. A similar comic is found at 1784: Bad Map Projection: Liquid Resize.

The comic thus equates the world to a playroom in which the islands are the equivalent of scattered toys left out after playtime, or an office space where 'polite notices' ask users to replace materials, equipment, etc. in its intended storage, to leave it presentable for the next users. It indicates that the loose islands can be properly stored away in the nooks and crannies of the larger landmasses, possibly so they can be easily located when the next person comes along to play with or use them.

Though much of the apparent strange distortions of relocated islands are probably due to the relative changes in length/area/angle across differing parts of the planar-stretched map of the globe (depending upon the map projection being used), Randall is clearly also not averse to distorting the landmasses slightly to fit even the 'immobile' continental masses. He mentions in the title text that he likes to make use of the jutting outcrop of Scandinavia (though misspelled as it was in 850: World According to Americans) by flexing it somewhat like one might do with a spring-clip, thus gripping tightly whatever islands he forces within the gap (in this instance, the British Isles and Svalbard). No-one knows what happened to the Baltic islands of Öland and Gotland though. Maybe the Irish ate them?

On 4 March 2023 the last few words of the title text were changed from the British Isles to Britain and Ireland (this may or may not have been strictly necessary).

Table of islands[edit]

New locations of selected islands that are visible on the map:

Island(s) Original Location New Location
Kodiak Island South of mainland Alaska Cook Inlet
Vancouver Island West of mainland Canada Salish Sea
Canadian Arctic Archipelago North of mainland Canada Hudson Bay
Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, and Anticosti Island Off the eastern coast of Canada Gulf of St Lawrence
Greenland Northeast of Canada Gulf of Mexico
Hispaniola and Cuba Caribbean Sea Gulf of Mexico
Other Caribbean Islands Caribbean Sea Gulf of Venezuela
Iceland Northern Atlantic Ocean Coast of southern France
Great Britain and Ireland Northwest Europe Baltic Sea
Svalbard Far North Atlantic Baltic Sea
Sardinia and Sicily Off western coast of Italy Coast of Italy
Aegean Islands Aegean Sea Coast of Greece
New Guinea, Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi Solomon Sea, Natuna Sea, Java Sea, Sulawesi Sea Mediterranean Sea
Philippines Philippine Sea Black Sea
Novaya Zemlya Pechora Sea White Sea
Japan, Sakhalin Sea of Japan, Sea of Okhotsk Sea of Okhotsk
Taiwan, Hainan South China Sea Yellow Sea
Madagascar Mozambique Channel Red Sea
Sri Lanka Laccadive Sea Persian Gulf
Borneo South China Sea Gulf of Thailand
New Zealand, Tasmania Off the coast of Australian mainland Gulf of Carpentaria


[A map of Earth with the largest continents in their usual locations, and Antarctica off the map, but all of the major islands have been moved into various bays and seas. See explanation above for further details.]
[Caption below the panel:]
Reminder: If you're the last one using the Earth, please put the islands away when you're done.

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Hey at least New Zealand made it onto this map! 17:46, 24 February 2023 (UTC)

Of course the proper storage mode involves packing the continents back to Gondwada layout and then hiding them on the far side ;-) RIIW - Ponder it (talk) 18:59, 24 February 2023 (UTC)

It seems worth noting that the scale was distorted to make some islands fit. Greenland has a longitudinal height of 2671 km, but has been shrunken considerably in order to be wedged into a 1725 km gap in the Gulf of Mexico. Altay (talk) 19:58, 24 February 2023 (UTC)

I thought it was the size of Africa. ---Theunlucky (talk) 20:35, 24 February 2023 (UTC)
Maybe he started with a cursed projection that makes Greenland smaller. Barmar (talk) 20:35, 24 February 2023 (UTC)

Seeing the ?? next to the British Isles, I think part of the islands there are the Danish islands squeezed aside to make space. (Okney Islans, Fair Isle, Shetland, Hebrides, Føroyar, etc. are probaly used to fill the gaps...) 20:54, 24 February 2023 (UTC)

Those are all pretty small. I think it's more likely Svalbard/Spitsbergen. 02:09, 25 February 2023 (UTC)
There's quite a lot of Nowegian islands, some of which are fairly large. -- 07:37, 25 February 2023 (UTC)

Where do we mention the typo in the title text? (Should be "Scandinavian".) --Flicky (talk) 12:30, 25 February 2023 (UTC)

I'll see what I think works. If all else fails, I could add a Trivia section (as I'm going to add an auxilliary reference), but maybe I don't need to... 13:15, 25 February 2023 (UTC) EDIT: Edit done. But some further tweaks planned, if no-one else improves/revises it before I get there.

I think the additional island nudged into Scandinavia with Britain and Ireland might be Tierra del Fuego at the bottom tip of South America? It sure looks like it. XKCDFan (talk) 13:45, 25 February 2023 (UTC)

No, I believe Tierra del Fuego has been relocated to St. Lawrence Bay.

Isn't it Sjaelland, turned upside down to fit, since Ireland has taken its spot? 19:48, 25 February 2023 (UTC)

As one who'll remain furious about Brexit until the second they repeal the bastard, I look at this with misty-eyed hope. It's a Yes from me. Yorkshire Pudding (talk) 00:20, 26 February 2023 (UTC)

What's Brexit ?? (talk) 02:59, 26 February 2023 (UTC)

A few years ago BRitain voted to EXIT (hence "Brexit") the European union, to remain/return to being politically etc separate after the countries of Europe united - such as adopting the Euro as a shared currency. Brexit seems a largely unpopular concept, widely considered a bad idea with mostly downsides, even before the decision was made, so not sure how the hell it passed (I'm Canadian, an outsider to this living across the ocean, so I only know these broad strokes). NiceGuy1 (talk) 06:01, 26 February 2023 (UTC)
<People who did not like the EU>: We don't like the EU! We demand to leave!
<Prime Minister> I shall try to change things so we all like the EU...
<EU> Yeah, maybe some of that, but definitely not the other stuff.
<People...> Boo, hiss! We'll start our own political party! With blackjack and hookers!
<Various other people who tried this before> Yeah, we'll join that. Down with the establishment! (Which some of us are part of.) We demand a vote on the issue.
<PM> That's a worrying amount of people who should be supporting me, and may split my vote. Ok, we'll have a vote, to settle the issue (less risky than the Opposition getting in).
<People... + Various...> Great. So, anyway, we promise; an XBox in every home; chocolate cake will stay just as delicious but not be fattening; and those people you don't like..? They're about to camp out in your roof-space, unless you vote to Leave. [...paraphrased/analogous, the real arguments being many and varied]
<Others> That's... just wrong. And what about the good reasons to stay? If we leave then...
<People... interupting> You're scaremongering. We will create a perfect idyll. But if we don't leave, everyone will end up being forced to all the time speak French or German or Italian or Spanish... or Arabic!
<Others> But..?
<People...> Stop trying to scare us! Beware the scary EU instead!
[...much more of this... 'Leave' promises/threatens, 'Remain' warns and tries to explain how the status quo is Ok. Most traditional political parties have some people wanting to Leave, some wishing to Remain, and some people don't care about Brexit but don't like the Remain-leaning PM]
[Vote happens]
[Around a third of voters vote Remain, marginally more vote Leave, the rest don't vote]
[Or, roughly a quarter each are Remain, Leave, Didn't vote and Couldn't vote.]
<People...> An overwhelming landslide! Right, lets Brexit. How do we do that again?
[Arguments range amongst Brexiteers between total international isolation and just trying to get marginally better deal. Those who disliked the Prime Minister are already happy, because he quit and left the next couple of PMs try to herd the Brexit cats, etc, over the next half dozen years... and continuing still with 'minor' issues such as how to circle the square which is Ireland (seeing as it involves Eire, Northern Ireland and the rest of Britain)...]
...opinions about whether this is the true tone of the timeline will vary, but I contend that it is at least not wrong. Maybe someone can update us on attitudes and recollections upon these matters in another decade? Or when it finally gets completely and sorted in a mutually satisfactory manner, if that happens earlier. ;) 19:56, 26 February 2023 (UTC)
Well your opinion on BRExit is clear. In reality, the referendum about BRExit happened because there was no referendum for Treaties of Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon, which changed what the EU is about a lot and were only ratified in parliament. And majority of people viewed it as good idea ... until the terms of withdrawal became known. EU worked hard on using BRExit as an example preventing other countries from following, so the terms were quite hard. Also, lot of people were disappointed when some changes, like regarding immigration, which they hoped would be prevented by leaving EU happened anyway. -- Hkmaly (talk) 18:33, 27 February 2023 (UTC)
Is not a Representative Democracy supposed to leave direct control of things to our duly appointed representatives? Whether at local, national or international levels? You might well say Mission Creep, as I'm sure you are, but that happens with all legislation (democratic or no). As does the changing attitudes of society towards any given subject (often more quickly appreciated by the Lords than the Commons, ironically, when a particular party has been somehow kept elected for too long) or indeed the changing nature of the world (three decades since the Web was born, and more than that since the Internet itself, and we're only now looking at various online issues?) and I indeed think that pissing into the tent from the outside isn't going to endear us to our former tent-buddies. When would it ever?
And the 'market' for small-boats "immigration" opened up almost entirely due to Brexit consequences. Worst of all worlds. A highly attractive destination (if misguidedly so), with greatly increased risks to those attempting the journey. And also making foreign criminals far more ill-gotten gains than when the worst they could do was accidentally asphyxiate the odd truckload of hopefuls. Plus the current 'bonus' of possibly making Rwanda the final destination for some. You couldn't make it up!
To apply a classic quote from Sir Humphrey, "If you're going to do this damn silly thing, don't do it in this damn silly way." The 'majority' of people (not really, it was a narrow squeak of those who felt strongly enough either way, in what was advertised as a clear-cut decision that should have had no fence to sit upon, or third parties to mess up the two-horse race; it would not have been anywhere near a valid vote under current rules required of Trades Unions, whose members are 'only' striking, those that haven't already voted with their feet and quit their workplaces entirely) might have voted to Leave, but some were the Faragist "scared about the Turks", some believed that the NHS would be 'saved' (how's that going? ...even accounting for Covid), others (I know many) voted for that funny guy off of Have I Got News For You to bloody the nose of Cameron (but didn't actually intend to break it). A vote for Leave was often demonstrably not a vote for how we did leave (or are leaving, because there's still other things to sort out even if the NI Protocol gets resolved this week/year/decade) but some personal ideal that means so many different things to so many different people.
A vote for Remain may also have differed, in detail and understanding, but it's hard to have such diverse opinions about the status quo. I doubt there were too many hankering after the Euro, perhaps just a few wanted to shift the clocks to Paris time... And then there are all those who didn't vote Leave but didn't know that things were so knife-edge that they should also vote Remain (in hindsight, it's not a surprise that the external influences, that tried to muddy these things, were car more successful in riling up one side of the argument than they were the other). Or all the young people who would lose access to things like Erasmus but had as yet no say actually in the matter (but would now be able to, if anyone gave them a chance).
...anyway, things turned out the way they did. It changed the landscape. The EU doesn't have to bend over backwards with the UK, as much as they did before. The rest of the world can weigh us up on our own (limited) merits, rather than as a handy doorway into a bigger and more diverse trading bloc. If ever Stormont gets sorted then there's likely to be pressures towards conducting an Ireland-wide vote. Even with Sturgeon going, and hypocritical denials of giving people a meaningful vote, it still presses the door somewhat more ajar to Scotland doing something interesting whereby they wholesale (or at least by a 'majority') emotionally reject being part-governed by a group of people in another place who "they never voted for". Oh yes, I think there's significant Leavers' Remorse in so many different ways, whether or not anyone realises.
I also quite definitely think that there's no way to reverse the situation, ever since we charged down the route of severing the ties. Perhaps Cameron should have used gone back to the EU and said "How about this tiny little further compromise?", given he only needed to get around 1% to change their vote to avoid all this. But he gave up and then quit, and the troublemakers (at home and abroad) actively prevented any captain of 'their' ship from taking any action to avoid icebergs. Probably the reverse. But no surprise there.
This wasn't intended as a hustings speech of any kind. The first explanation was there to explain how we stumbled into Brexit, for the benefit of those who weren't originally privvy to how it all unfolded (and, believe me, I tempered my true opinions quite a lot, in the spirit of neutrality). Here I just wanted to say how we're doomed to continue to stumble through it for quite some time (or at least until the world twists on its axis in some far more overwhelming way, to make the matter moot), given that you must already know the basics. This really isn't the forum for arguing it out, and I am sure I won't change anyone's views who had any in the first place, so I shall leave these as my final screed. Point out where I'm factually wrong, if you will, to balance my wild 'Remoaner' ramblings (not that I'm even technically a Remoaner, I would assert... Perhaps the clearly agrieved Yorkshire is?), knowing that I shall not even try to counter whatever you come back with. 00:15, 28 February 2023 (UTC)

Anyone else left thinking that this would severely mess up the ecology of a number of islands, particularly where species have evolved in the absence of predators found on the mainland? No? Probably just me, then.... Zoid42 (talk) 15:21, 26 February 2023 (UTC)

Why, surely it would. Provided that, after moving Greenland into the tropics and filling in the Mediterranean, so much as a semblance of the original ecology would still remain to be messed up.

The 'island kitchen' part of the explanation seems a bit of a big old stretch, given that there's no references to kitchens in the comic, and you can't 'put away' the islands in most kitchens - they're fixed installations. 10:28, 28 February 2023 (UTC)

Agree. I'mma take it out. Jkshapiro (talk) 01:44, 7 January 2024 (UTC)

Where is Hawaii?[edit]

I don't see it mentioned in the list of where things were moved to. 03:25, 26 February 2023 (UTC)

Agreed, I added it to the Incomplete tag (don't want to assume). Tiny at this scale, I suspect Gulf Of Mexico? NiceGuy1 (talk) 06:01, 26 February 2023 (UTC)
Whoever put things away took it home with them. 09:59, 27 February 2023 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure the original map didn't include Hawaii. There are other islands missing as well, in particular Fiji, Bermuda, etc. Perhaps the Mediterranean and its small islands is just the place for "everyone else". After all, if most of Indonesia fits there, might as well throw in all of the other islands as well. XKCDFan (talk) 19:00, 27 February 2023 (UTC)

Forget Hawaii Where is Antarctica?[edit]

Did someone put it away on mars?

No. Antarctica is not shown on some maps, which is a rarity becoming less and less common. By me. (talk) 23:03, 27 February 2023 (UTC)
Antarctica would (like the other continents, give or take the Scandiwegian peninsula's island-gripping distortion) not be considered 'movable' or storable elsewhere, otherwise we might restore South America to snugly fit against Africa (or vice-versa), or other neo-Gondwanaland movements. (You could, of course, have tried to fit actual non-arctic islands into the Weddel/Ross/etc openings in its edge, at least once you work out whether the seasonal/'permanent' ice should be respected or ignored for such purposes.) It is also bigger than Australia (its only true fellow 'island-continent') and even bigger than Europe (assuming you believe in Europe, as a mass, rather than prefering to deal Eurasia (or even Afro-Eurasia) as an effectively contiguous whole). We also rarely see Antarctica as anything other than a long strip, on equatorially-centred world maps, so finding a handy right-sized spot for something that looks somewhat more like the polar-centric map version, and at the right scale, would be an interesting but not necessarily aesthetically pleasing exercise. Would one rotation of other nicely nestle it in the bite of Africa, assuming S.America's bulge isn't now taking over that spot? 00:49, 28 February 2023 (UTC)
I presume that he was making a point of saying that all the ice would have melted, so little land at the south pole. Does anyone know of a land map of Antarctica? SDSpivey (talk) 18:29, 28 February 2023 (UTC)
Do you mean the land (and sea) beneath the ice, or the way the land would be if the ice was to all be gone?
Either way, perhaps look at something like: https://polarjournal.ch/en/2022/07/13/what-greenland-and-antarctica-look-like-without-ice/
...there are other places with similar maps (maybe differently calculated), still showing plenty of land-area. If not more due to the proposed isostatic rebound outpa ing any change in sea-level. And most maps of Antarctica differentiate between the ice-sheets (sitting on bedrock) and ice-shelves (floating on water), though may not show where this is just where the sub-sealevel 'floor' is too shallow for there to be any undersheet seawater. 21:27, 28 February 2023 (UTC)

Someone (rightly) changed the title-text (the comic having been changed) regarding the name of the Britirish Archepelego (( <= my term of the moment, that - if not pleasing everyone, annoying everyone equally! )), but of course this is a most complex and debated] issue. Not sure who whspered into Randall's ear (or when), and not even sure it helps... But worth an extra note, definitely, if not any arguments that might yet spawn from it. ;) 18:57, 7 May 2023 (UTC)